The growth of online estate agents is not just down to the fact that they save vendors and landlords many thousands of pounds when compared with traditional high street estate agents.
Selling your house online through a digital-only agent is a largely satisfying experience, according to the majority of online estate agents’ reviews.
So, what is an online estate agent?
An online estate agent work in a similar way to traditional estate agents but they operate entirely online.
Usually, the online agents will serve multiple locations from just one main office which deals with all enquiries. Online agents tend to charge a lot less than high-street agents and usually upfront.
How do online estate agents work?
The services offered by online estate agents are similar to those offered by high-street agents, but often in a more stripped-back form.
They will usually have a base package and add-ons.
The base package usually includes the online advertising of your property and a board outside the house. In many cases, the homeowner will have to take the pictures or deal with the viewings.
You can purchase add-ons. For example, many online estate agents now offer the option of valuing and marketing your home and arranging property viewings. Many can also negotiate and accept offers on your behalf, and liaise with your conveyancer, other estate agents and buyers until the sale is complete.
These services usually incur a higher fee than the basic package. Fees are typically paid upfront and in some cases are non-refundable regardless if you sell or let your property.
Online vs high street estate agents: how do they differ?
The key difference between online agents and regular high-street estate agents is that online agents charge a fixed fee to sell or let your home whereas high-street estate agents usually charge you a percentage of your property’s selling or letting price.
Here, Property Division picks out 17 digital-only estate agents, some of which also act as online letting agents, to see whether a private house sale is a viable option.
Our research involved looking at websites providing online estate agents’ comparison services by publishing user reviews of what the internet-only property firms offer.
17 Best Online Estate Agents
6. Sell My Home
9. I am The Agent
16. Property Solvers
Griffin Property allows you to use their website to sell or let your property directly. They have three packages. One is free of charge and allows you to use their website to promote your property. They then have a Gold and a Platinum package with payments required partly upfront and partly upon completion.
I was able to sell my property for a fraction of the cost a high street agent would charge, thanks to their innovative package system, while remaining in full control of the entire sales process.
2. Yopa Online Agents
When it launched in 2015 Your Online Property Agent promised to make the process of sell your home affordable, simple and transparent. They are a fixed fee agency that gives sellers the best of both worlds: the reassurance of a dedicated local estate agent to guide you through your sale, combined with the cost-saving efficiency and 24/7 access of an online service.
The local consultant was positive and made some great suggestions about marketing. Before long we had viewings and an offer. And all at less than a local estate agent would charge.
Established in 2008, Urban says all its customers benefit from a full estate agency service, backed by five-star customer service and professionally qualified staff, 7 days a week, 360 days a year.
Weekly updates were useful and the system of emailing contact details at the same time as the phone call was invaluable.
This online agent offers their service for less than £500. They offerand also advice.
Very pleasent conversation the agent knew his properties on the market in different locations and answered all my questions giving me a lot of information to help me decide if i was interested to view the property
With the exception of carrying out viewings, Settled says it provides all of the services you might expect from a traditional agent plus the option to pay up front or later.
From the start the online chat facility was brilliant, helpful friendly advisors. Good photos and plans. Had 6 requests for viewings the next day, easy to arrange and did them all in one day and received an offer over the asking price same day.
6. Sell My Home
This online estate agent might not do viewings, but Sell My Home – which was founded in 2013 – says other than that you have a full service agency working for you.
The technology combined with polite, available and market savvy staff is a brilliant combination.
Calling itself the world’s first 24/7 estate agency, Purplebricks – which launched in 2014 – says its dedicated local experts will provide you with a professional valuation and offer their advice and expertise, all with no obligation.
Our local agent has been extremely friendly, efficient & knowledgeable, very supportive & always on hand, even though it only took three days to sell our house.
This online estate and letting agent was launched in 2010. The site says it provides the same service as a high street agent, the only difference is you show people around your property.
Within less than 1 day we had enquiries/viewings & a viable tenant who moved in 10 days later. Just a superb service & will have no hesitation to use them in the future. Best of all was real value for money & there was no need to have an estate agent.
9. I am The Agent
The online estate and letting agent’s website says it has enjoyed more than five years’ of success and its mission is “to be transparent, without any hidden agent fees, allowing you to be in control whilst we are on hand to assist when needed”.
It was the easiest and best value property transaction I’ve experienced in over 40 years of buying and selling YOUR HOME. Knowledgeable staff who are happy to go out of their way to help and advise.
Launched in 2004, Visum says that as the UK’s first online letting and estate agent renting or sell your house quickly is what we do best. It backs up its claim by advertising rental and sales properties on all the country’s leading property portals.
Visum Estate Agents User review
You are in control the whole time during the sale process. Visum offers help for anything at any stage. I found the whole process responsive.
99home claims to be an online hybrid agent. They offer three different packages, the cheapest being for £99 (hence the name) and the most expensive, offering what a ‘high-street agent’ would offer, but they want the fee upfront.
Excellent service from 99home. The process to list, upload my information and get my property on to the market was easy and swift. This company provides excellent customer service.
This Yorkshire-based digital business, which was established in 2010, boasts it has no hidden agent fees or charges and offers to refund vendors who pay upfront and later decide they were not happy with Esale’s service.
We cannot find fault in the way Esale dealt with matters. Their professional attitude helped complete our sale.
Providing a full estate agency service – including photos, floorplans, viewings arranged, offers negotiated and property sales progressed to completion – this digital business has been operating since 2011.
Helpful, professional, on the ball, reliable and most of all so supportive. [My agent] was always on the other end of the phone when needing him.
Launched by the group behind EasyJet in 2015, this online easte and letting agency has round-the-clock support as well as local property experts throughout England and Wales.
I am very pleased with the service, which has been provided by easyProperty… I would recommend this company to anyone who is looking to sell YOUR property.
With over 50 years of collective industry experience, this online estate and letting agency offer properties to rent and sell your home throughout Wetherby, Leeds, Harrogate and surrounding areas.
16. Property Solvers Quick Estate Agency
Property Solvers’ quick estate agency operates differently to many others in that they focus on getting their clients firm offers in under 28 days. For them, it’s not about over-pricing properties to win business but getting sellers a realistic price within the shortest timeframe.
What’s more, there are no tie-in contracts and they won’t charge you a fee until the property sale is completed.
More than 5% of the 1.3 million residential property sales that completed in 2015/16 were sold through online agents, with homeowners paying from less than £300 to over £1000. This compares very well with traditional bricks-and-mortar estate agents, which typically charge 2-3% of the sale fee plus VAT.
Unlike traditional estate agents, however, the best deals are often reserved for sellers who are prepared to pay upfront.
It should also be remembered that many online estate agents base their charges on the services on offer. When you are embarking on a private house sale, it is advisable to ensure your online estate agent provides the following…
- In-depth valuation based on the property’s age, location and current market conditions.
- Professional photographs, a floorplan and an Energy Performance Certificate
- A For Sale board
- Exposure on third-party house sale portals, such as Rightmove and Zoopla. Beware that online estate agents are barred from listing your home on OnTheMarket
- An account allowing you to manage viewings and receive offers.
Some vendors are happy to handle every aspect of their property sale, but those that are not are advised to check whether their online estate agent provides…
- A local property agent to handle viewings
- Online contact 24 hours a day
- Help with drawing up a memorandum of sale and monitoring conveyancing through to exchange and completion
Online estate agents are proving popular with a generation of vendors who have grown up booking holidays, arranging insurance and managing their finances online. And with a growing percentage of people now renting their homes privately, internet-only property businesses that are also online letting agents will take a growing share of the market in years to come.
Buying and selling property is a daunting and time-consuming process so real estate agents can be extremely helpful. The real estate business differs slightly between countries. For instance, in the UK you list your property with an estate agent company, it is less about the person representing you and more about the company you are dealing with. In the UK very few buyers hire a agent to help them. In America and Canada, almost all real estate agents are self-employed and buying agents are much more popular. If you are looking to sell or buy property in America or Canada, you can search for real estate agents in London, Ontario (or other areas) and view rating to help you find the best real estate agent or realtor for you.
TIP: Are you an estate agent? Need help with your marketing? Find out more about Art Division’s digital marketing for estate agents service.